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Feb 9, 2023

Almost 90% of the lack of teachers in Portugal schools is due to sick leave

Education Minister João Costa admitted that the problem of a shortage of teachers will tend to get worse due to the increase in the number of retirements and the reduction in the number of new teachers.

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Feb 8, 2023

Portugal secondary exams are again only for access to higher education

Use as ferramentas de partilha que encontra na página de artigo. Todos os conteúdos do PÚBLICO são protegidos por Direitos de Autor ao abrigo da legislação portuguesa, conforme os Termos e Condições.Os assinantes do jornal PÚBLICO têm direito a oferecer até 6 artigos exclusivos por mês a amigos ou familiares, usando a opção “Oferecer artigo” no topo da página. Apoie o jornalismo de qualidade do PÚBLICO. This academic year there will be no changes to the model that has been in force since the covid-19 pandemic, revealed João Costa in Parliament.

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Jan 26, 2023

Portugal will be one of the few European countries without secondary school completion exams

Portugal will be one of the few European countries without secondary school completion exams. End-of-cycle tests also serve to rank candidates for higher education in most European education systems, as has been the case in Portugal since the 1990s.

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Jan 16, 2023

New model of access to higher education in Portugal divides students. Private universities applaud.

Secondary school students' opinions on the Government's proposal between praising the "balance" and the missed opportunity to end the national exams once and for all.

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Jan 9, 2023

Higher education continues to rise in Portugal. Almost 50,000 students had a guaranteed place

More than half of the students were placed in their first choice and there were fewer places left. In the last three years, students were not obliged to take all the national exams, resulting in three entrance exams with historic numbers.

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Jan 3, 2023

Widespread rise in averages in the 2nd phase of Portugal's national exams

The Physics and Chemistry grade increased by 1.6 values ​​compared to last year and the Portuguese grade rose by 1 value. Only one subject had a negative average.

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Nov 15, 2022

Number of Portugal applicants for higher education is once again one of the highest ever

More than 58,000 have already submitted their candidacy. In the space of 25 years, only in the last two competitions were there more students trying to enter universities and polytechnics.

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Nov 10, 2022

In Portugal, five exams improved averages compared to the first phase

As a general rule, the results go down in the second phase of exams, but this year, five tests, including Portuguese (12th grade), recorded increases compared to the first season. Mathematics A and Mathematics Applied to Social Sciences had averages below 10 values.

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Sep 21, 2022

Portugal 9th grade benchmarking tests and exams will be digital in 2023

Next year, all assessment tests will be carried out in digital format, except for Artistic and Physical Expression. The model will be tested this year in some schools, and the process of selecting the establishments to be included in the pilot project is in progress.

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Aug 22, 2022

Ten thousand students chosen for PISA test in Portugal

Since March 2 of this year, around 10,600 students between the ages of 15 and 16 have been chosen to take the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests in 231 Portuguese schools.

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Aug 2, 2022

In 2025, Portugal national tests and exams will all be online

National tests and exams for elementary and secondary students will be carried out directly on computers in 2025, according to a plan by the Instituto de Avaliação Educativa (IAVE) that this year starts with a pilot project in some schools.

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Jul 21, 2022

More than 148,000 Portugal students enrolled for high school exams

This year, there are more than 148,000 students enrolled in the exams - three less than last year and the majority (57%) answered in the registration forms that they will not be candidates for Higher Education.

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Jun 21, 2022

Portugal National Commission for Access to Higher Education aligns positions around secondary exams

The representatives of polytechnics and universities, public and private, will align positions on the national secondary education exams. A decision that has been long awaited by students.

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Jun 21, 2022

Portugal exams return for 9th grade as they will count for access to higher education

The Government announced this Thursday that it will extend the exceptional conditions for completing Secondary Education, "with national exams taking place only for the purposes of access to Higher Education". In a statement, the Ministry of Education said that the "9th grade tests for assessment purposes" are back, with no impact on student assessment.

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Jan 25, 2022

Cyberattack delaying Portuguese language certificates for Portugal students

Thousands of Portugal students have been left waiting for results of Portuguese language tests following a cyberattack.

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Jan 18, 2022

Portugal national exams keep questions optional this school year

Similar to what happened in the last two years because of the pandemic, the set of optional questions will remain in this school year's national exams in Portugal.

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Jan 12, 2022

Portugal government updated school calendar, affected by measures to combat the pandemic

The Government confirmed through an order in Diário da República the school calendar announced by António Costa. The prime minister, when informing the country that new restrictions would be imposed to contain the advance of covid-19.

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Dec 23, 2021

Portugal national exams will no longer be done on paper until 2025

It is expected that by 2025 national exams will no longer be done on paper, this being a measure of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) sent to Brussels.

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Dec 14, 2021

Portugal higher education entrance exams can be used for four years

The entrance exams to higher education are valid for that purpose "in the year they are taken and in the four following years". The measure comes into effect in the next year of applications.

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Dec 7, 2021

National exams and scouting tests are expected to "return to normal" this year

In the last two years, the assessment tests and final exams for the 9th grade were suspended, with only the national exams for the 11th and 12th grade being held. A return to normality is expected this year.

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Républica Portuguesa (The Portuguese Republic) is the western-most country on the European continent. It is bordered by Spain to the east and the North Atlantic Ocean to the north, west and south. The islands of Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean are autonomous regions (regiões autonomas) of Portugal. The population is 10,676,910 and the literacy rate 93.3%. Portuguese is the official language and the language of instruction.

The area of present-day Portugal was first visited by the Celts, followed by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and the Romans, and the entire Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Moors. During the period of the Spanish Reconquista (Reconquest) of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors, Portugal was a county of Spain. By 1149, Portugal gained independence from Spain with Alfonso I as the first King.

In the 15th century, Portugal began to explore the world, and claimed the islands of Madeira and the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. In the 1440s, Portugal began to explore Africa and several colonies were established. In 1500, both the Spanish and Portuguese reached the east coast of South America. A later agreement gave the area of present-day Brazil to Portugal. In 1497, Vasco da Gama landed in India, and within several years, Portuguese missionaries and traders were established in India. In 1557, Portuguese traders established a colony on Macao.

In 1581, King Philip II of Spain claimed Portugal and the 2 crowns were merged, but a bloodless rebellion in 1640 restored the Portuguese crown. During the reign of Napoleon, Portugal was divided between France and Portugal. By 1908, the Portuguese royal family was exiled and the Portuguese Republic was established.

Portugal was a founding member of NATO and joined the European Union on June 1 1986.


Currently, the Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior is responsible for higher education in Portugal.

Primary Education

Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. Ensino básico (Primary school) is 9 years and is divided into 3 cycles. The first cycle is 4 years, the second cycle is 2 years, and the third cycle is 3 years. Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma do Ensino Básico (Diploma of Basic Education).

Secondary Education

Ensino secundario (Secondary school) is 3 years and has 4 tracks: scientific-humanities, technological, specialized arts, and professional studies. Vocational and professional studies are offered at escolas secundárias profissionais (professional secondary schools). Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma de Formação Profissional de Nivel III, Diploma de Estudies Profissionais, or a Certificado de Qualificação Profissional de Nivel III. Students in academic tracks are awarded a Diploma de Ensino Secundário upon completion. The Certificado de Fim de Estudos Secundárias was also awarded until the mid 2000s.

Post-Secondary Education

There are 2 types of post-secondary education: ensino universitário (university instruction) and ensino politécnico (polytechnic instruction). Admission requirements for post-secondary study are set by each individual institution. These institutions require a Diploma de Ensino Secundário and some require sufficient scores on an entrance exam, concurso nacional for public institutions and concurso local for private institutions. Admission to post-secondary study is coordinated by the Comissão Nacional de Acesso ao Ensino Superior (CNAES) (National Committee for Access to Higher Education). Students ages 23 and above who do not hold a Diploma de Ensino Secundário can sit for the Exame Extraordinário de Avaliação de Capacidade para Acesso ao Ensino Superior (extraordinary exam to assess the capacity to enter higher-level studies) and apply for post-secondary programs.

Ensino superior politécnico (Post-secondary technical education) is offered at 15 institutos politécnicos (polytechnic institutions), 3 nursing colleges, 2 colleges of higher education, and 3 polytechnic colleges of higher education.

Cursos de especialização tecnológica (CET) (Specialized technological courses) were created in 1979 and are offered at escolas superiores (higher schools) in polytechnics. After 2 years of study, students are awarded a Diploma de Especialização Tecnológica (DET) e Qualificação Profissional de Nível 4. First-level Licenciatura (licentiate) programs are 3-4 years (180-240 European Credit Transfer System). Second-level Mestrado (Master) programs are 3-4 semesters (90-120 European Credit Transfer System) and require a Licenciatura (licentiate) for admission. Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, polytechnics offered a 3-year Bacharelato and a 4 to 5-year Licenciatura (licentiate). Full implementation of the Bologna-compliant degree structure however, did not take place until 2009-10 so some Bacharelato (also called Bacharel) degrees may have been awarded in the period 2006-09 leading up to full implementation.

Ensino superior universitário (University study) is offered at 14 universities and 1 non-integrated university; 4 military and police science university institutions: Academia da Força Aérea (Air Force Academy), Academia Militar (Military Academy), Escola Naval (Naval College), and Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna (Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Homeland Security). The Portuguese Catholic University is private, but is recognized by Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

First Cycle

First-level studies are 6-8 semesters (180-240 European Credit Transfer System) and lead to the Licenciatura (Licentiate). Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, the Licenciatura (Licentiate) was 4-5 years though, again, some may have been awarded up to full implementation in 2009-10 of the new degree structure. [strike: and universities also offered a 3-year Bacharelato]

Second Cycle

Second-level studies require a Licenciatura (Licentiate) for admission. They are 3-4 semesters (90-120 European Credit Transfer System) and, upon successful defense of a thesis, students are awarded a Mestrado (Master). Mestrado Integrado (Integrado Master) programs are usually in professional areas of study and are 10-12 semesters (300-360 European Credit Transfer System). They require a Diploma de Ensino Secundário (Diploma of Secondary Education) for admission.

Third Cycle

Doctoral programs require a Mestrado or a Mestrado Integrado for admission. Following coursework and defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doutoramento (Doctorate). A Doutoramento is only awarded by universities.

Teacher Training

Primary and secondary school teachers must hold a licenciatura. There is no specialized teaching credential.



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